Popular Mechanics – MICHAEL BELFIORE – Feb 27, 2013
To take advantage of an alignment of Earth and Mars that happens once every 15 years and would allow the shortest possible travel time possible between the planets, the mission seeks to launch on January 5, 2018. The crew would return to Earth on May 21, 2019. Go to story
excerpt from Arrival Address, New York, July 9, 1976:
We are placed in this material condition and we are obliged to contact the three types of material modes of nature, and according to the infection we suffer. Actually we suffer, but sometimes there is a little so-called happiness. In this way we are loitering within this universe—sometimes in the upper planetary system, sometimes lower planetary system, sometimes as human being, sometimes as demigod, or sometimes as cats, dog, trees. This is our position. And we are manufacturing our position. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ‘sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu [Bhagavad-gītā 13.22]. So we are completely under the clutches of material nature, and this is going on. And Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore said,
ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 19.151]
In this way we are loitering throughout the whole universe in different planetary system, in different species of life, in different country, different, according to our… Brahmāṇḍa bhramite. Brahmāṇḍa means within the universe. They are trying to go to the upper planetary system, and they can go. There is no difficulty. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti [Bg. 9.25]. But you have to properly prepare. Not that because you have got one sputnik or airplane you can go by force. That is not possible. This is all rascaldom. This is not possible. But you can go if you prepare yourself. You can go even back to home, back to Godhead. Mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām. So there is every possibility. Now this is the crucial point of human form of life. We can go in the higher planetary system, we can go in the lower planetary system, we can stay where we are, or even we like we can go back to home, back to Godhead.
So the intelligent person should know what are the different situation, different life. They do not know. The other day our Dr. Svarūpa Dāmodara was speaking that whatever scientific improvement or educational improvement they have made, two things are wanting. They do not know what are these different planets in the sky. They do not know. They’re simply imagining. They are trying to go to the moon planet, Mars planet. That is also not possible. Even if you go (to) one or two planets, there are millions of planets; what do you know about them? There is no knowledge. And another knowledge: they do not know what is the problems of life. Two things they are lacking. And we are dealing with these two things. The problem of life is that we are bereft, we are away from Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore we are suffering. If you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the whole problem is solved. And so far planetary system is considered, so Kṛṣṇa is giving you opportunity, wherever you like you can go. But the intelligent person will select, mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. “Those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, they come to Me.” So what is the difference between these two? Even if I go to the moon planet or Mars planet or Brahmaloka, Kṛṣṇa says, ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ‘rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. You can go to the Brahmaloka, but kṣīṇe puṇye puṇyo martya-lokaṁ viśanti: “You’ll have to come back again.” And Kṛṣṇa also says, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. Mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām.
So you have got this opportunity, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everything is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, what is what. Do not lose this opportunity. Do not be foolish, misled by so-called scientists or philosophers or politicians. Take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is possible only guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. By the mercy of guru and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa you can achieve all success. This is the secret.